Trade Brent Burns or Marc-Edouard Vlasic

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  • Sharks owner Hasso Plattner issued a rare, brief statement in support of general manager Doug Wilson.

“While we are all very disappointed in the team’s performance thus far this season, Doug has a long history of leading our team to success,” Plattner said on Jan. 23. “The last time we failed to meet our winning standards in the 2014-15 season, we were able to quickly rebound and re-establish a winning culture for the next several years. I am supportive of Doug’s plan to get our team back on track.”

  • Fixing the Sharks will not be simple, and will be more difficult than during the 2015 offseason when they had ample salary cap space and some key players on team-friendly contracts.
  • Now, though, many of the Sharks’ highest-paid players are seemingly overpaid and underperforming, and in many cases have trade restrictions built into their contracts.
  • Those without no-trade clauses are players the team probably isn’t interested in moving.
  • The Sharks are tight cap-wise, too, with $66.6 million committed to just 13 players next season, according to CapFriendly.com.
  • So what can Wilson do to set up the Sharks for an immediate turnaround?
  • Trading Brent Burns or Marc-Edouard Vlasic perhaps?
  • The Sharks have little chance of making their offensive attack dangerous enough without moving one of their pricey defensemen.
  • Karlsson isn’t going anywhere.
  • That leaves Burns, who has five seasons left at $8 million annually, and Vlasic, who has six seasons left at $7 million annually.
  • The complication here for Wilson is that Burns has a three-team limited no-trade clause, while Vlasic has a full no-movement clause.
  • Unless one of them wants or agrees to be traded, Wilson’s hands could be tied.
  • There’s reason to believe that Vlasic would be willing to facilitate a trade back to Montreal, or perhaps even nearby Toronto, the latter of which could be in the market for a left-shot defenseman.
  • The Canadiens were looking closely at Vlasic at the beginning of the 2019-20 season, and a deal might have been consummated had the defenseman been playing better at the time.
  • Burns is the more likely player to go since Wilson has a little more flexibility with the contract, and he’s much more effective than Vlasic at this point.
  • Still, in order to move him, Wilson might have to get creative.
  • Not only would a Burns trade give the Sharks immediate help with the salary cap, but it’s likely he would also bring back a player or two.
Sources & Credits: Kevin Kurz, The Athletic
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